How to Write an Impactful Fundraising Story

8 Mar

Every successful fundraiser understands the importance of a clear message. When people support a fundraiser, they are also supporting an idea. While facts and statistics are great ways to communicate the importance of an idea. The gluing factor for a fundraiser is a relatable story.

A fundraiser only has one chance to make a knock-out first impression. Long facts and statistics need context to make sense, and they tend to slip from the listener’s mind. On the other hand, a compelling narrative is much more memorable as people relate to its challenges and characters.

A great story will also help supporters visualize where the fundraiser is going and how they can help reach its destination. To help you reach your fundraising success, we’ve outlined the critical tips to consider for a compelling fundraising story:

Tip #1: Understand Your Purpose

Before drafting your fundraiser’s story, you need to have a thorough understanding of the purpose your fundraiser and why they matter. Solidifying your fundraiser’s purpose will help you find the key points of your story, giving you structure and direction. If you’re finding it tough to solidify your fundraising purpose, ask yourself the following:

  1. What is the end-goal?
  2. What have I done/do I need to do to reach this end-goal?
  3. What are the specific challenges that my fundraiser must overcome to reach these goals?

Once you have a thorough understanding of your fundraiser’s purpose, its story will come naturally.

Tip # 2: Use the Before-Action-After Format

The format of your fundraiser’s story is just as important as the story itself. One of the most popular formats is the before-action-after format, as it centralizes the impact of your fundraiser.

Before The Fundraiser

Use the opening sections to describe the situation before the fundraiser. It’s important to be as vivid as possible when describing your setting, characters, and circumstances. As you develop the section, ask yourself: Would this inspire someone to hear more? Is there an emotional attachment being made?

Call for Action

In the middle, describe the exact events that called for action. If you were involved since the beginning, be sure to detail how the event made you feel. The important part of this section is describing the teetering event that inspired the start of your fundraiser.

After The Call

In the end sections of your story, describe the exact successes and future plans of the fundraiser. The focus of these sections should be on the direct impact of your success. How did life change for the characters or settings before the fundraiser? How are these changes directly tied to the fundraiser itself?

At the end of the story, offer your supporters the opportunity to help further the impact of your fundraiser. Give information on how they can help raise money and how to keep up with the fundraiser.

Tip #3: The Fundraiser Is the Hero

When stories are made, they tend to focus around the person who made them. Having a self-serving story is the least impactful type of story as it focuses the story on how the fundraiser has impacted the teller, instead of the end-goal.

At the end of the story, the hero should be the fundraiser. Take some time to edit out pronouns like “we” and “our”, they tend to shine the focus on the teller. Replace them the name of the organization or the fundraising campaign itself.

Popcorn Palace is excited to bring you our new Create Joy fundraising initiative! The initiative comes with a fresh brochure design that will help promote the cause of your fundraiser. To learn more about Create Joy and our efforts to make your fundraiser successful, fill out the contact form below and a fundraising expert will reach you shortly!

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